WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Tuesday announced $14 billion in commitments from U.S. businesses to invest in Africa, as representatives from nearly 100 American and African companies gathered in Washington to discuss ways to boost economic partnerships. During a panel discussion with CEOs, former President Bill Clinton declared that the U.S. has “only barely scratched the surface” of Africa’s economic potential. Indeed, Africa’s economy is enjoying rapid advancement. The continent is home to six of the world’s fastest-growing economies. And a decade of solid growth has created a middle class with increased spending power – 350 million strong in 2010 by the African Development Bank’s count, up from 220 million in 2000.
Other nations, most notably China, have been moving aggressively to tap into growing African markets. China surpassed the U.S. as Africa’s largest trading partner in 2009. “We also realize we have some catching up to do,” said Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor and a billionaire businessman. “We are letting Europe and China go faster than the U.S.” President Barack Obama was scheduled to address the business summit Tuesday afternoon.
The American companies represented at the day-long meeting include Chevron, Coca-Cola Company, IBM and Mastercard. Also participating in the forum was Jeff Immelt, the CEO of General Electric. During the panel moderated by Clinton, Immelt appealed to the U.S. Congress to renew the charter for the Export-Import Bank, which helps finance American exports. Some Republicans want to shutter the bank when Congress returns from recess next month, arguing that the bank’s spending is politically motivated and unnecessary.
But Immelt said Tuesday that the bank signals to other countries that the U.S. government is interested in investing overseas. “The fact that we have to sit here and argue for it is just wrong,” he said. The business commitments being announced by the Obama administration Tuesday include a $2 billion investment by GE by 2018, $200 million in investments across Africa by Marriott, and a $66 million commitment by IBM to provide technology services to Ghana’s Fidelity Bank. The business forum is part of a broader U.S.-Africa summit being held in Washington this week. Nearly 50 African heads of state are in Washington for the three-day conference. Beyond boosting business ties, the summit also focuses on security partnerships and supporting a new generation of African leaders.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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